Email Marketing Data: Striking the Right Balance Between Convenience and Privacy

My prediction for 2015 is that this year we will see more use of receipt data, purchase data, mobile use data, and other avenues of data creation to tell us more specifically how to market to people.

In the last few years, we only relied on say things like the last purchase or opens and clicks, then a few short years ago we added in marketing automation to get even closer to the buyer by watching what they were doing on our websites after say an email click through. Now, we will not only watch that, but we will go back through all their purchase histories or email content that the consumer is willing to share with us much more pervasively than we have in years past to better market to them.

Consumers are use to hearing that their data is being used in marketing. Sometimes say they don’t like it, some don’t care because they know that it’s a part of life now. Now of course, much of this should be done with hyper-transparency to the consumer in notice, consent, and choice, but again many of the apps available to us are collecting this information and consumers are putting convenience over privacy.

I predict that many companies will create and offer more mobile and desktop apps and more API sharing technologies to create a way to get further into the inbox of clients. These services obviously to the end user will be about making their lives all easier, but it’s all about finding a better way to actually get consumers information by doing it DIRECTLY with them, the consumer, vs. needing to go through a data warehouse or broker.

So again, look out for it in your local app stores for new games, time savers, data housing apps that will want and ask for permission to read the entire contents of your emails that come in. Don’t fear it though, many of the good guys will just use the purchase data and roll it up aggregately to use, but not contact you with offers… some will. Just read the fine print.

Dennis Dayman
eec MAC Vice-Chair
Chief Privacy & Security Officer, Return Path